I posted on Facebook, and LW might actually also be a good place for some subset of topics.dmitrii-zelenskii on Where to Draw the Boundary?
What is wrong (if you don't try to match the real biological taxonomy of Pisces) with definition like "vertebrate constantly living in water" for "fish"? While true_fish and dolphins have some differences, they have the very common points that led to the unification in the first place.gworley on A misconception about immigration
This doesn't exactly apply because most welfare spending (and in fact most government spend) is leveraged against future economic growth and inflation, so it actually is possible to create self-fulfilling prophecies via stimulus spending so long as that spend eventually produces real growth. This case might or might not be the most efficient way to do that, but governments are rarely trying to maximize efficiency at the expense of all else so we shouldn't really count that against the argument. So this would seem a neutral, at worst, scenario rather than one of dead-weight loss as you argue.benito on A misconception about immigration
In one scenario, the political leaders of the two towns decide to unite the two towns. Nothing except the name will change. So, there is now a town C that has 1010 inhabitants. Will town C have a functional economy? Of course! After all, all that was done was subsuming two already functional economies.
I feel a bit wary of using this as an axiom for further thinking about immigration between countries. I've not really thought about this issue before, but my guess is if two countries with very different levels of economic development open their borders to each other this could be fairly damaging. It might substantially increase prices and demand of land in the less economically developed country, causing upheaval (e.g. poorer people in the more developed country buying out middle class people in the less developed country); it may damage a lot of their industries where the more economically developed country has more efficient abilities. I also think, especially if there's big cultural and language barriers that a lot of basic norms for interacting with strangers and such can be very confused and cause damage in the years/decades it takes to integrate.
I don't have much of an opinion here, just thought I'd mention that I got off the bus a bit at this part of the argument.cousin_it on A misconception about immigration
I think splitting it up only obscures the overall effect: for the economy as a whole, giving an external agent fewer goods and services for the service of cleaning is better than giving more for the same.kenny on Mistake Versus Conflict Theory of Against Billionaire Philanthropy
I've come around to the "conflict-vs-mistake framing" in particular because "every significant disagreement has elements of both".
It must be the case, in some sense anyways, that every 'conflict theory' begins its (epistemic) existence as a 'mistake theory' and is thus, hopefully, at least somewhat amenable to being considered 'mistaken' later given sufficient contrary evidence.
In general too, conflict theories seem to have a 'memetic' advantage in being 'epistemically totalitarian', i.e. subsuming all subsequent evidence (until the existence of the conflict is itself later considered mistaken).
It's also true that something like philanthropy could be both net-positive for everyone and net-negative for a particular political coalition.dmitrii-zelenskii on The Argument from Common Usage
There is descriptive linguistics and prescriptive linguistics (and that applies, in particular, to lexicography); but to make sense, to create rules people will not immediately and fully ignore (merely somewhat in some relatively rare cases as the language changes), prescriptive linguistics feeds on descriptive linguistics to prescribe something not too different (which does not say "the same"). Thus to create a dictionary which will unify common usage you need to describe common usage first - not to be too astray.
Unfortunately, in English tradition this is also blurred by having no usual distinction between prescriptive grammars (and lexicons) and style guides.kenny on Mistake Versus Conflict Theory of Against Billionaire Philanthropy
I'm not sure it's really possible to reach any conflict theorists if you think their theorized conflict is a mistake.
It seems like part of the problem in doing so is that the theorized conflicts are (at least) implicitly zero-sum. I'd think it's pretty obvious, that at least 'in theory', billionaire philanthropy could be net-positive for 'The People', but it's hard to even imagine how one would go about convincing someone of that if they're already convinced that (almost) everyone's actions are attacks against the opposing side(s), e.g. philanthropy is 'really just' a way for billionaires to secure some other kind of (indirect) benefit to themselves and their class.dmitrii-zelenskii on Feel the Meaning
Well, you describe language somewhat as if it were designed for communication. If, as Chomsky et al. argue, it was not, if it is a thought machine with communication hastily and inconveniently added later, then:
1)it is a bad - no, really bad - idea to try and teach computers speak language the way humans do - they should do better and probably start with a different (functional) architecture;
2)sound 2b and sound 2c may have a different underlying structure which is simply compressed by the hasty externalization (aka communication) module.kenny on Mistake Versus Conflict Theory of Against Billionaire Philanthropy
It's pretty hard to tell what you find hard to reconcile in the two quotes.
'Politics as war' is the same as 'different sides fight for their own self-interest', e.g. "whether the State exists to enrich the Elites or to help the People".
The 'honest mistakes' perspective would be that any particular policy might be good or bad, or whatever mix thereof, and disagreements about that would be due to different beliefs and NOT due to simply supporting one's side.